Pfizer, Crestor tops for global promotional spend in 2011

Share this article:
AstraZeneca teams up with Abbott on Crestor co-promote
AstraZeneca teams up with Abbott on Crestor co-promote

Total global pharma promotional spending fell 3.4% to $92.2 billion in 2011, according to Cegedim Strategic Data, led by a 4.7% decline in detailing spend.

Pfizer remains the industry's top promotional spender, despite a 12% drop in spending to $6 billion in 2011. That puts the New York firm well ahead of No. 2 Novartis, which cut marketing and advertising spend by 10% to $5 billion, and was followed closely by Merck ($4.9 billion, down 7% over 2010). Just two of the top ten advertisers in the sector—No. 4 AstraZeneca and No. 6 Boehringer Ingelheim—increased spending. AstraZeneca marketers saw a 5% bump to their budgets, which totaled $4.2 billion, while Boehringer dialed up its promotional spending by a whopping 19% to $3.3 billion.

AstraZeneca's Crestor was the best-supported brand. The statin's $1.1 billion in promotional spend (unchanged from 2010) accounted for 1.2% of all industry promotional spend. Billion-dollar brands (or thereabouts) included Lilly's Cymbalta, Boehringer's Pradaxa and GSK's Seretide.

Cuts to sales force numbers continued. Pfizer cut around 11% of its field force, estimated at more than 20,000, while Novartis wrought a 9% reduction in reps and Merck cut 7% of sales posts.

Detailing comprises 60% of all promotional spending. DTC advertising, which makes up 9.2% of spend, rose by a percentage point, while spending on meetings, which makes up 14.4% of promotional budgets, sank 4.1%, and spending on samples, which accounts for 10.3% of spend, was flat. Clinical trials, costing 2% of promotional budgets, slid 15.1% in 2011, and professional advertising, worth .8% of spending, slid 12.5%.

North American promotional spending, down 3.1% to $30.6 billion, followed many of the same trends that global spending did, with a few exceptions. North American DTC spend slid 5.4%, while spending on meetings and events, down 4.1% globally, soared 10.9% in the US and Canada, and clinical trials spend, down 15.1% worldwide, rose 9.1% for North America.

Sales force cuts in North America, where detailing comprises 53% of overall promotional spend, were deeper than elsewhere. Pfizer reduced its field force 16%, while Novartis cut 18%, GSK 19% and Abbott a whopping 23%. Adding sales force jobs were AstraZeneca (+11%), Forest Labs (+3%) and Boehringer Ingelheim (+19%).
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...